FORMER Munster scrum-half Mike Prendergast will join Gloucester this summer on a two-year deal from Bourgoin.
The 29-year-old fills the gap left by Haydn Thomas, who is joining Bristol, and brings with him a wealth of experience gained in Ireland and France.
A physical number nine, Prendergast started four of Bourgoin's six pool matches in the Heineken Cup this season, and also knows what it's like to run out at Kingsholm having been a replacement for Munster against Gloucester in 2003.
"Mike has plenty of experience and will enhance our scrum-half options greatly," said head coach Dean Ryan.
"He's a different type of player to the other 9s at the club and I look forward to him challenging them to be first choice. This signing is a great example of the strength in depth we are building at Gloucester."
Prendergast added: "When a club of Gloucester's stature shows an interest in you, you'd be mad to ignore it. I know all about the passion of the fans and the atmosphere at Kingsholm - the miracle match is a night none of us who were lucky enough to be involved will ever forget.
"Once I met with Bryan Redpath and the other coaches it was a very easy decision to make. Gloucester have got a set-up and a squad that can take on the best in Europe, so to be able to play a part in that is fantastic.
"I've had a great time at Bourgoin but am really looking forward to moving to England in the summer and getting stuck in."
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).